Men and women love to decorate their homes. They want to be surrounded by pretty things both indoors and out. However, many factors need to be considered when purchasing quality outdoor furniture. Consider the following factors to determine which pieces should be purchased and which should be passed on.
Ability to Withstand the Elements
Any quality outdoor furniture selected must withstand the elements. For example, outdoor living products should remain in place when winds increase. How can a person ensure they do?
Choose items with low centers of gravity. This helps to anchor the furniture so it won’t blow over in a high wind. Avoid furnishings with skinny legs and choose those with wide-set, heavy bases. Wicker and aluminum pieces will also blow over in the wind.
Stainless steel, in contrast, gets very hot when exposed to the sun’s rays. If the outdoor living area is in direct sun all day, choose other materials. This will avoid burns when someone sits on the furniture.
Wood furnishings, on the other hand, aren’t suitable for wet conditions. Manufacturers state their wood has been treated to withstand moisture. However, the owner must treat the wood yearly to keep this protection in place. The same holds for natural wicker, which isn’t designed to be exposed to the elements for long periods of time.
Learn the benefits and drawbacks of each material before choosing outdoor furniture. Consider a hanging rope swing that will move with the wind or can be flipped and drained if it rains. This ensures the furniture is available for use at all times.
Try the Furniture
Once the furniture arrives at the home, see how sturdy it is. Sit in chairs or rock a table to see if it is going to collapse if unintentionally bumped. Nobody wants to clean up broken glass outdoors, as they can’t pull a broom out and sweep or vacuum to get up all the little pieces. Sturdy furniture will reduce the risk of an accident.
Check the armrests and the legs. Wiggle around in a chair and see if it feels unstable. If it does, don’t purchase this furniture. Any problems that are apparent right away will only become worse with time, particularly when the furniture is exposed to the elements.
Examine the construction of the furniture to see how many screws and bolts were used to put it together. If the furniture comes unassembled, determine how many screws and bolts are present. Every connection point of the furniture is a place where something could go wrong.
Choose quality outdoor furniture that has been welded or molded. The strong bonds seen with these construction methods hold up with time. Molded is better than welded, but both are superior construction techniques.
The elements damage fabric over time, and that’s true even for fabric that is in the home. The sun’s rays will make colors dull and can even lead to translucent fabric with continued exposure. In addition, the heat from the sun, snow, and rain can all weaken the threads of outdoor fabrics or lead to peeling paint on furnishings.
When purchasing cushions for outdoor use, choose those that are UV-resistant and tightly woven. This helps to reduce the exposure of the cushion’s interior to harmful elements. Some manufacturers now make products with naturally UV-resistant fabric. Choose one of these products whenever possible.
Pair these fabrics with furnishings made using weather-resistant and maintenance-free materials. Polyethylene, a synthetic material, and aluminum are good choices because they won’t corrode or weather. When possible, choose powder-coated metal pieces.
Powder coating involves the use of dry-colored powders that are cured using heat. This reduces the risk of wearing and peeling of the finish, a problem that is seen with painted items.
People might assume that purchasing quality outdoor furniture with waterproof cushions means the cushions can remain outdoors at all times. However, this is not the case. Steps need to be taken to protect the cushions during periods of wet weather.
If outdoor cushions are left wet, they will be soggy and heavy. In addition, they will take a long time to dry. This increases the risk of mildew developing in the cushions. Wicker furnishings are also prone to mildew, so consider this when making a purchase.
Have a plan in place to protect the furnishings during a downpour. For example, buy covers that will protect the cushions, or invest in a storage unit to store the cushions when rain is imminent. An occasional soaking won’t hurt the cushions, but they will last longer when the owner takes steps to keep them as dry as possible.
Even wood furniture should be protected during a downpour. Covers can be purchased that fit over the furniture so the rain won’t reach it. Invest in these coverings to keep the furnishings looking their best and ensure they hold up with time.
A person can purchase quality outdoor furniture and still encounter problems. For example, placing any item under a tree increases the risk of bird droppings on the furniture. Find a different spot to reduce the amount of cleaning needed to keep the furniture looking its best.
In addition, place the furniture away from the flow of traffic. This reduces the risk of someone tripping over the furniture and being injured. It also reduces the risk of the furniture being accidentally damaged as someone makes their way through the area.
Wood furniture will hold up better than wicker furniture, so placement options are greater with this material. However, aluminum furniture withstands more than wood pieces, particularly when powder coated. Choose quality pieces and arrange them carefully to protect the investment in the furnishings.
With many quality outdoor furniture options offered today, every person should find pieces they love and want to have at their home. If the perfect piece is found but doesn’t meet all the suggestions above, try to find ways to accommodate the drawbacks.
For example, the buyer can purchase the piece and invest in new cushions or choose a new location for the items. With some forethought, any person can get quality outdoor furnishings while remaining within the budget. They then have an outdoor living space they love and want to use regularly.